Thursday, March 31, 2011

What the Heck is Chourico?

A while back, I won three packages of chourico, shipped to me from a company called Mello's. I had no idea what it was, so I did a little research. In a nutshell, it's the Portuguese version of chorizo.

Then I realized that chourico is the sausage that's used in the Portuguese soup with kale and potatoes. Okay, I'd made that before, so the first package went into some soup.

And I promptly forgot about the other two packages.

It's okay, they were vacuum sealed and frozen.

I was digging in the freezer and pulled out a package of the ground chourico. I had no idea what to do with it, but I figured I'd just wing it. Does anyone else do this? Not know what an ingredient really is, and forge ahead blindly? Yeah, that's how I roll. Erratically.

When I was thinking about ground chourico, I associated it with Mexican fresh chorizo which is highly spiced, raw, and greasy.

I figured I'd treat it like Mexican chorizo, fry it, drain the grease, toss in some eggs, and scramble it all together. I had some avocados on hand to make guacamole. I had tortillas. I pulled out some refried beans. It all make perfect sense.

Until it hit the frying pan.

You know how vacuum-sealed frozen food can look a little ... mysterious? You look at it, but you're not exactly sure what it is ... I mean, meat looks like meat, and ground meat looks like lumpy meat, just like this package of pinky-orangey lumpy meat. I attributed the color to spices, and I dumped it in the frying pan.

The first odd thing was that it wasn't oozing grease. Well, that's a plus. Then I took a closer look. Hmmmm... it didn't really look raw. And as I leaned in to look even closer, I realized that it smelled like Polish sausage. Smoked Polish, to be exact.

Well, hmmmm....

That's not what I expected. At all.

And my guacamole was looking a little confused, as well.

But I continued. I heated the chourico, and it started smelling really good. I mean, it's chopped up smoked sausage. How can it not be good? It started getting darker with some crispy bits. Mmmmm.

So I stirred the sausage, cracked some eggs, and continued with the plan. Smoked sausage and eggs is a good combination. I've made that before.

And then I served it with the tortillas and the guacamole an the refried beans and some rice. Hmmmmm...

As an afterthought, it would have been even better if I had added some sauteed green peppers and onions. It also would have been interesting if I had added a small squirt of hot sauce. To be clear, the chourico and eggs was a good combo, and it even worked well in the tortillas. Just about everything works well in tortillas. Rice and beans work with just about everything, too, although potatoes might have been a slightly better match.

So in the end, it was mostly all good, even though I was confused about what I was working with.

The guacamole, however, slunk away to find some tortilla chips to hang around with.

Next time I'll know better. I have one more package of chourico. Although this last one is labeled "hot" so it's going to be a different sort of beast. Maybe I'll fry it up with potatoes, green peppers, and eggs. Just maybe.